A senior Pentagon official called for greater cooperation between the U.S. and partner countries in developing a comprehensive C4ISR architecture, during the Asia Pacific Security Conference (APSEC) here in Singapore this week. “We must share information with partners where appropriate, and we need their help to plug the gaps in coverage,” said Bruce Lemkin, Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.
Information is “the petroleum of the twenty-first century, and bandwidth is the precious pipeline,” Lemkin continued. ISR is particularly significant in the vast Asia-Pacific region, he added. But there were challenges in the processing and disseminating of ISR data, and in the fusing of different types of data to enable true Network-Centric Operations (NCO).
In a veiled reference to criticism of U.S. technology release policy, Lemkin said that there had been some confusion, especially over the term “interoperability.” Nations that buy U.S equipment can operate it independently, he said.
In its dealings with partner countries, the U.S. focuses on the full spectrum of interoperability, Lemkin explained. This extended beyond the hardware and into concepts of operations, as well as doctrine and maintenance/sustainment. Partner nations can also learn from the U.S. experience in countering terrorism and identifying enemies, which today “are transnational and hide among the local populace,” Lemkin said.